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Aug 5, 2013

Government denies suggestion Single Spine pay policy will be scrapped


Government and its social Partners including labour organisations are meeting on Tuesday in Ho to discuss the sustainability of the Single Spine pay policy and the challenges posed to economic management and development.

Radio Ghana caught up with the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Antwi Boasiako Sekyere who dismissed the notion that the scheme may be suspended.

He said scrapping the scheme will be suicidal.

Meanwhile, the Head of Negotiations and Grievances of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Yawson Cornelius said it is not automatic that every year the commission would increase wages.

He explained that allowances are not top ups to salaries but incentives to relieve workers when they undertake special duties such as travels, accommodation or risk.

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission says it has no plans to scrap the Single Spine Pay Policy.

Its Chief Executive George Smith Graham in an interview with Radio Ghana said the proposed forum is only to discuss challenges facing its implementation.

One of the interviewee who is an Assistant Manager at Garden city Radio who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that scraping the policy could worsen the economic plight of the worker as a result of the increasing cost of living.

He urged government to be innovative in its revenue generation efforts to finance other sectors of the economy.

For her part, Mrs Mabel Asafo-Adjei of the Ghana Health Service also said the new pay policy should be maintained but streamlined to eliminate all the bottlenecks that have bedeviled its implementation.

According to Mrs Asafo-Adjei, government should have known the consequence of the eventual implementation of the salary structure before its adoption and that it cannot give any acceptable excuse to scrap the pay policy.

She noted that sustenance of the new policy will give Ghana a clear focus on which pay policy is suitable considering the number of policies that have already been tried and discarded, adding that labour agitations concerning salary structures are not peculiar to the new policy.

On the contrary, a Principal Superintendent of the Ghana Education Service, Joseph Owusu-Mensah urged government to scrap the policy as a means of addressing the increasing labour agitations resulting from the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure.

He observed that the main reason for the adoption and implementation of the pay policy, which was to ensure equity in the basic salaries of public sector employees, has been defeated.

Mr Owusu-Mensah therefore asked government to revert to the pay policy that existed immediately before the SSSS.

He however cautioned that any reduction in worker’s salaries will automatically negatively result in taxes and national revenue generation.

The government has in the past months indicated that personal emoluments of public sector workers alone consume a chunk of the national revenue at the expense of other critical sectors of the economy.

Source: GBC